Guest blog: Are you busy being productive or just plain busy?

Hera Hub member, Janina Goldberg, is a systems process master.  Janina is passionate about helping other business owners achieve their dreams, simplify their lives, and gain the support they need to live a life of abundance. She spent more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, documenting processes, creating and delivering end user training, overseeing and educating outsourced support teams, and discovering the fine line between efficiency and redundancy, before deciding to take her talents outside the corporate world.

We are pleased to share her contribution…

We can overthink and therefore “overwork” in areas of our business and on client work than is necessary. We play what’s on our to-do list over and over in our minds – even if we’ve scheduled it on our calendars. I’ve done this many times before. How about you?

Replaying and overthinking can happen with tasks that are time on our business (creating/modifying programs, scheduling social media posts, blogging/article creation, networking) or time in our business (billable client work).

Do you bill a client for a tasks that you estimated would take 2 hours yet you spend an additional 4 hours or more procrastinating or “thinking about working” on it? At the end of the day you feel like you were “busy” but was it really productive work and was the task efficiently executed?

Let’s just call it what it is…Overthinking and overworking are time and energy not well spent!

Spending more time and energy thinking about your tasks can create thoughts and illusions that you don’t have room for more paying client work or no available time for networking and expanding your community.

Being busy does NOT always mean being productive!

I believe that you want to be more productive and do things more efficiently – gaining more energy and time in your business and in your life!

Here are 4 simple steps to support you in becoming more efficient and more productive:

Step 1) Declare that you want more time and energy

Ask yourself how you feel about your business life. Is this what you signed up for? Is this how you thought it would go? Do you think it’s possible for things to be done differently but you just don’t see how or don’t know where to start?

If you have a sense that things need to change, then declare it! Decide. Declare that you want more time and energy in your business and in your life and decide that NOW is the time to start making changes!
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Step 2) Stay mindful / Be intentional

With your current declaration and decision from step 1, keep this thought and energy with you at the beginning of every day. You are a powerful entrepreneur. You created your business with a specific mission in mind.

Creating helpful reminders on your phone or making sticky notes on your bathroom mirror are great ways to remind you of your intention/decision to move forward with this process.

I am a successful entrepreneur.
I operate an efficient and productive business.
I work flexible hours that support my lifestyle.

Step 3) Gather information on your current situation

Gathering information and collecting data is one of my favorite things to do. You can’t make changes to things that you don’t know about. While you can start at any moment doing things differently, if you don’t take a look at your current situation and your patterns, you won’t be able to determine your next step or truly assess your progress.

When I set out on a mission to make changes in any area of my life, I first devote some amount of time to collecting data. For example, to change my eating habits and what I’m eating, I’ll start by logging what I eat for a week. I don’t need to analyze or fix or assess anything. It’s just logging what I am currently doing – with curiosity and no judgment. My task is to log information – that’s it. Depending on what you want to change will determine how long to collect details of your current activity.

To get a sense of where you are truly spending your time in your business, you can create a simple time tracker on paper.

  1. Create one page for each day
  2. Establish your start and end time for each day. Maybe for now you intend to focus on the hours from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  3. Have each line/row represent 30 minute increments – starting from your start time above – going to your ending hour.

To support you in logging this time throughout the day, maybe you set a reminder on your phone or computer for every 1 hour that reminds you to log your activity for the past hour.

Step 4) Making intentional adjustments to your tasks

In support of increasing your efficiency, here is a good definition: Efficiency is performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.

With this as your goal, after you have collected a fair amount of data from step 3, make intentional adjustments to areas you can focus on first. By increasing your intention to working more efficiently, where can you begin? As an example, if you start your day checking personal email and Facebook, set a timer. If from your information gathering from step 3, you had been spending 2 hours at the start of your day on personal emails and Facebook (getting caught up), allow yourself 30 minutes.

Now, there may be some mind chatter coming up by your initial intention of 30 minutes for emails and Facebook in the morning. You may be thinking that would be impossible to commit to this on a regular basis! If that’s the case, I’d challenge you to do it for a week. And every morning that the timer goes off after 30 minutes, write down how you’re feeling. Are you angry? Had you not realized you already spent 30 minutes? Perhaps you’re feeling that 30 minutes IS all it really takes to catch up on email and Facebook.

To recap:

  • Decide to be with the process and evolution of you being more efficiently productive. Commit to a new way of working in and on your business!
  • Capture a true picture of what’s happening today. Get honest with yourself about what’s really going on by logging the facts.
  • Start making changes and shifts to one thing at a time
  • Remain curious
  • Be gentle with yourself

For some, this will be easy to implement. For others, intellectually it’s a yes but when it comes to staying with it you could benefit from support. That’s where I come in. When we work together, I will be here to support you in your process and hold you accountable to your goal of being more efficiently productive – taking a look behind the curtain with you without judgment and creating a plan of implementing changes with where you could be working more efficiently for gaining more time and energy in your business and in your life.

Consider your next step…

I identify with entrepreneurs and have personally experienced the ability to breathe easier knowing a strong foundation with great documentation is in place. A scheduled plan with gentle reminders will quiet down that monkey-mind and allow more peace and calm. With your tasks and goals planned out on a calendar and processes in place, the mind is freer to generate inspired ideas, have the space to develop and modify programs and workshops all so you can be of higher service in your business with more ease and joy.

If this sounds like you or the support you need, it’s time we talked. Schedule your complimentary 30-Minute Strategy Session and take your first step toward getting the support needed to grow your business, calm your mind, and live a life of more abundance!